LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Over the weekend, 30 of the nation’s premiere high school quarterbacks flocked to the USC campus to partake in the inaugural Elite 11 semifinal competition. Out of those 30, eight passers already held invitations to the Elite 11 finals, and four more earned invited after two days of work.
Hailing from Fort Osage High School in Missouri, Skylar Thompson headed to LA in hopes of soaking up some quality instruction from the Trent Dilfer compiled team of coaches and quarterback experts alike.
“It’s a great opportunity getting to interact with these other quarterbacks around the nation since there aren’t a lot of kids in the Midwest,” Thompson said to Elite 11 reporters after Sunday’s session. “To have an opportunity as a Midwest kid to come in and compete here with guys from California and Texas, New Jersey, it was a very awesome experience.”
During the seven-on-seven portion of competition, Thompson measured up with the best of the best at the semifinals. Thompson finished 5-6 and one touchdown with his lone incompletion coming on a drop near the end zone.
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Thompson was impressive in drill work all day, and this showing validated his spot among some of the nation’s most talented quarterbacks. Thompson says he has known this for quite some time, and it was evident as early three years ago.
“I would say early on in the camp circuit in my high school career [I knew],” Thompson said. “There were a couple times I was competing with other quarterbacks from across the nation, we were in Chicago and I was competing with other guys that had scholarship offers to pretty big schools. As I was competing, I was like, ‘I can beat these guys. They might be a little bit better, but I’m definitely right there with them’ and that carried with me a lot through this offseason and I carried it into my junior year.”
This momentum propelled Thompson to what was an explosive junior season at the helm of the Indians’ offense in 2014. Last year, Thompson posted a 64-percent completion rate along with 2,385 passing yards and 24 touchdowns to just six interceptions. In addition, Thompson piled on 461 rushing yards and nine rushing touchdowns to round out his dual-threat attack.
Thompson’s performance elevated his recruiting stock before he committed to the Kansas State Wildcats over the offseason.
“I got my first offer in February, so the recruiting process was kind of late with me,” Thompson said. “But I listened more to my parents and coaches and they told me to stick to what’s important to me and things that I can control and everything would take care of itself. I did that and sure enough it played out perfectly to where I found a school that I love and that loves me and I’m very happy with committing there.”
In addition to competing for a shot at the Elite 11, Thompson turned 18 this past weekend, and the three-star quarterback says he couldn’t have planned for a better experience.
“No, to be honest I couldn’t,” Thompson said. “To have this opportunity was an incredible opportunity as I said before, and for it to take place during my birthday week and for me to spend it out here and celebrate my birthday a little bit doing what I love most and interacting with these awesome players and coaches… its awesome. It was an awesome birthday present for sure.”’
Thompson is rated as the No. 15 dual-threat quarterback in the country and the No. 3 player in the state of Missouri according to 247sports.com.
Thompson did not come this far without a strong support system, though. Thompson, whose mother passed away years ago, has leaned on the support of his father, who is the local 9th grade principal. This has helped Thompson with the maturation process as his dad holds a unique perspective.
“So much advice,” Thompson said. “He’s seen so much as a principal in disciplining kids, and all these types of kids that come from different atmospheres and different families, so he’s seen everything. With a lot of adversity that I’ve experienced in my life, he’s been there with advice and it’s really helped me through my lifetime in developing me into the man I am. He’s my best friend too.
“Throughout this recruiting process, we would sit there and talk about it at dinner, and I think he loved it just as much as I am. He really liked to be a part of it. My family is all basketball coaches. I’m the first kid in my family that has really played football, so he doesn’t really know a lot about the quarterback position or football, but he always drives me to my locations and supports me and always listens to what I have to say and gives me the advice I need to be successful.”
Thompson is the second member of the Wildcats’ 2016 recruiting class.